Idiot question alert - 52 focus points

Started Jan 2, 2014 | Questions thread
olyflyer Forum Pro • Posts: 24,154
Re: Idiot question alert - 52 focus points

Rservello wrote:

SergioSpain wrote:

I couldn't have said it better myself. A lot of people like to shoot in manual because it makes them feel more in control of the shot, when in reality, if they're using the camera's meter, all they're doing is making more work for themselves by fiddling with the dials. And there's nothing wrong with that as long as they don't preach to everyone about how manual is the only way to go. Let's face it, the exposure triangle is just not that hard to learn. We may like to think it is to feel smarter, but it's not rocket science.

If you dial in to the internal spot meter...ok. Does anyone that shoots manual actually do that tho??

Oh come on, you can't be serious with that question... Do you really think people use external meters? Yes, in rare occasions, but I think very few people actually have light meters, so yes, I am convinced that most manual shooters use the camera as meter.

I occasionally glance at the spot meter to see how far off it's saying I am. I'm usually under or over exposed by 3 or 4 stops. Why...because it's measuring direct reflected light.

That's just simply incorrect and I don't believe it, or it does not sound logical. I mean, if you are off by 6-4 stops (+/- 3-4) then why bother at all to try guessing? I don't think you really are doing this because it does not have any added value at all to the images and is totally pointless effort to try to guess. It is like shooting target in the dark or blindfolded. You may get it right now and then, but probability is that you are going to miss big times.

If I point it at someones eye and follow the meter the shot will be horribly over exposed...if I'm metering off a bright spot it will be horribly under exposed. Use an incident meter to get in the proper ball park...then do what you know.

Something must be wrong here. The meter in the camera may be off some times, no meter is perfect, but most of the time it nails the shot just right. I did some quick tests and here are the results. The first shot is totally manual except for the WB.

I used the light meter and set the shutter speed, ISO and the aperture to the value it showed. I measured in the middle of the Xrite color chart.

The other three shots are taken using the camera meter and the three modes, spot, center weight and matrix. All three resulted in the same shutter speed and aperture, I kept the same ISO for all and in PP I only corrected the WB because AWB is one of the things which is never right, especially in an image like this with a lot of blue all over. Of course, metering in spot meter mode is not done in the dead center of the image, there is simply too much black there, but for the center weight and matrix I could just aimed and shot. In other words, if your camera severely under or overexpose then you are doing something wrong or there is something wrong with your camera. While there is a difference between reflected and incident light in some cases, that should NEVER result in huge differences unless you are shooting in specific and difficult conditions, and I can't really think of any situations where Spot meter would cause huge errors unless you meter on very dark or very bright surfaces.

Eyes are normally fine to spot meter from, and the results should be excellent. What people generally make mistakes with is that they focus and recompose, and using spot metering, that will result in random errors because when you change the composition you move the metering point unless you have locked the meter, since in spot meter mode the camera uses the selected AF point. Not only that, but because the image composition is changes, the subject under the focus point is no longer in focus, which is NOT the proper way of using the camera meter. The subject simply MUST be in focus when you meter and you MUST lock the exposure using the AE-L button, otherwise you get random results.

Also...can you really say that when using full auto and taking portrait that a 1/60 f5.8 is REALLY the best setting for the shot??

Well, I can't select f/5.8, but sure, why wouldn't that be the best setting for a portrait? All depends on how you want to shoot the model. There is no right or wrong here. The "old school" says actually that it is optimal, only in these modern age the super thin DOF became popular, but generally speaking, I think only amateurs are using wider than f/5.6 for portraits and in any way, it is just a trend to use as wide as possible.

Anyway, I don't know what you mean by "full auto".

If you understand what app/shutter does to the final image you know that for a portrait you are better off shooting at a lower ap higher shutter to get more DOF.

What is "lower ap"? You mean wider or smaller aperture? Smaller aperture gives you more DOF, wider (is what you call "lower ap"?) gives you less, not more. Personally I never shoot at smaller than f/5.6 if I shoot people. I disagree that more DOF would in any way improve a portrait image. F/5.6 gives you plenty DOF already, so why would you want more?

Maybe you want the same shot, but you want to see the background...then you want a higher higher ap and lower shutter setting.

Of course. Assuming you mean by "higher ap" higher aperture number, i.e. smaller aperture.

What if you want minimal grain, and you know you can pull off a pretty low setting that the camera would say is WAY underexposed. Auto and spot meters don't take aesthetics into account....only 20% grey. Shoot someone in the snow using auto and marvel at the dark grey snow behind them. Shoot someone by candlelight and enjoy that noise field and distracting environment behind them. There is more to shooting manual than just to feel better about yourself.

None of your examples actually demonstrates ANY reason not to use any auto modes. Fact is, I don't think you shoot like you talk... Sorry.

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